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The Modern Scholar: The Author at Work

The Art of Writing Fiction
Narrated by: Professor Jenna Blum
Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Jenna Blum has scored critical and commercial success with her novels Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. One of Oprah’s Top Thirty Women’s Writers, Blum has also taught creative writing at Boston University and master novel workshops for Grub Street Writers. Here Blum shares insights into the writing process and offers listeners the most important aspects of succeeding as an author.

©2013 Jenna Blum (P)2013 Crescite Group, LLC

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  • Bradford
  • 23-04-2014

One of the best writing how-to's I've ever read

I went into this lecture skeptical. I didn't know Jenna Blum's work, and I wasn't sure this would be helpful. I'm happy to tell you I was very, very wrong. Blum's lectures were written to help writers like me discover the foundations and essential building blocks of our craft. She explains the biggies like theme, plot, style and dialogue in a new way that is far better than most of the "how-to" books I've read on the subject. She approaches each topic with the scholastic approach of a professor while keeping in mind the more practical needs of the practicing writer. She describes each item using excepts from her own work while also pulling in quotes and excerpts from popular authors that anyone listening can identify with. Put simply, she makes studying to write fun. With built-in exercises and numerous examples, Blum walks you through each aspect of writing masterfully, getting you to think about your own work while exploring the nature of the concepts themselves. At times I felt like I was getting an course in a collegiate Master of Fine Arts program for the price of an audiobook. I would put Blum's lecture up at the top of my bookshelf of "How to Write." I encourage any aspiring or active writing looking to shore up and learn more about the core concepts of the craft to listen and enjoy her lectures.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Rowlands
  • 20-02-2016

Not the best

This book seems to be quite basic, in my opinion. Other writers, such as Sol Stein and Stephen King, have much more innovative, original, and helpful books on how to be a writer.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlotte
  • 18-04-2015

Jenna Blum teaches writing

I loved the end of this course, but the beginning was full of beginner's stuff that you sort of had to push past. I was a bit irritated with the performance to start off, but later grew to like Blum's voice and persona, although her constant reminders not to write while driving got a bit tedious. However, I came away from the experience a happier, more competent writer and recommend this course which does what it is supposed to do.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Hugh
  • 22-01-2014

Great info, hypnotizing narration! In a good way!

What did you love best about The Modern Scholar: The Author at Work?

Jenna Blum could read the phone book, and I'd be enthralled. Great book, succinct, informative and well structured.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Nothing really matters
  • 07-02-2016

Totally, like, surface-scratching?

I couldn’t give these lectures the high marks some others gave them for three main reasons.

First, at about 4⅓ hours long, this was a very short series of lectures on what is a very large topic. Accordingly, the lectures took a pretty high-level approach to those sub-topics discussed.

Second, given the short time available the lecturer spent too much time chit-chatting. The chit-chat generally concerned the author’s life and her books.

Third, I was surprised to hear someone (a professor?) in this day and age using valley-speak. That made it very, very hard for me to take her seriously.

On the other hand, I felt some topics were explained well enough so that almost anyone could understand them. Hence the 3-star overall rating rather than two.

The Great Courses lectures on this topic are better - more detail, no speech affectations. There are also many other good books on writing novels available through Audible if you’d like to learn more about it than is covered in these lectures.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Coco B.
  • 17-04-2018

Comprehensive Advice!

I loved this audio book. The author is conversational in her approach, but manages to pack her lessons with loads of practical advice. There are writing exercises through out. It does feel geared towards the more serious student. I loved each lesson, and found the chapters on theme and revision particularly helpful. Highly recommended!

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  • R. Mikesell
  • 07-12-2016

Some good advice

Any additional comments?

He has some great advice but..."it is easy for him to say...". I believe, I just don't have the imagination to create or the intelligence to present a story in an effective way. I don't care how many great techniques you may hear, if you don't have some degree of talent to begin with, no one can make you a successful writer. If you possess talent, you can profit from the techniques in proportion to the amount of effort and time you are willing and able to invest.

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  • Donna J. Correa
  • 17-09-2015

frustrating

reader speaks on a middle school level. I was constantly frustrated that her voice was like a thousand speed bumps.

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  • Robert M Holden
  • 04-04-2015

Bit of a valley girl, but great content!

I've listened a couple of times, will continue to listen until it stinks in. She does sound like a valley girl, but is pleasant to listen to. Not exactly an informative review, but I have a fence to install, so maybe I'll come back and revise this. For now, all I can say is that it is worth your time to listen to this audio book.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-2017

Awesome

Jenna has a wealth of insite and information for writers. She is easy to understand and touches upon a walth of information for writers at all stages og writing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful